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KAIST and Merck Sign MOU to Boost Biotech Innovation​
View : 1085 Date : 2024-05-30 Writer : PR Office

(From left) KAIST President Kwang-Hyung Lee and Merck CEO Matthias Heinzel

< (From left) KAIST President Kwang-Hyung Lee and Merck CEO Matthias Heinzel >


KAIST (President Kwang-Hyung Lee) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Merck Life Science (CEO Matthias Heinzel) on May 29 to foster innovation and technology creation in advanced biotechnology.

Since May of last year, the two institutions have been discussing multidimensional innovation programs and will now focus on industry-academia cooperation to tackle bioindustry challenges with this MOU as a foundation.

KAIST will conduct joint research projects in various advanced biotechnology fields, such as synthetic biology, mRNA, cell line engineering, and organoids, using the chemical and biological portfolios provided by Merck.

Additionally, KAIST will establish an Experience Lab in collaboration with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and the Graduate School of Medical Science and Engineering. This lab will support the discovery and analysis of candidate substances in materials science and biology.

Programs to enhance researchers' capabilities will also be offered. Scholarships for graduate students and awards for professors will be implemented. Researchers will have opportunities to participate in global academic events and educational programs hosted by Merck, such as the Curious 2024 Future Insight Conference and the Innovation Cup.

M Ventures, a venture capital subsidiary of Merck Group, will collaborate with KAIST's startup institute to support technology commercialization and continue to develop their startup ecosystem.

The signing ceremony at KAIST's main campus in Daejeon was attended by the CEO of Merck Life Science and the President of KAIST along with representatives from both institutions.

Matthias Heinzel, a member of the Executive Board of Merck and CEO Life Science, said, “This agreement with KAIST is a significant step toward accelerating the development of the life science industry both in Korea and globally. Advancing life science research and fostering the next generation of scientists is essential for discovering new medicines to meet global health needs.”

President Kwang-Hyung Lee responded, “We are pleased to share a vision for scientific advancement with Merck, a leading global technology company. We anticipate that this partnership will strengthen the connection between Merck’s life science business and the global scientific community.”

In March, Merck, a global science and technology company with over 350 years of history, announced a plan to invest 430 billion KRW (€300 million) to build a bioprocessing center in Daejeon, where KAIST is located. This is Merck's largest investment in the Asia-Pacific region.

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